Everyone is doing the metaverse

A roundup of companies doing metaverse stuff: Facebook/Meta, Microsoft, Dropbox, Autodesk, Nike, Niantic

Ok, this is getting a bit ridiculous.

Less than 2 weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was changing its name to “Meta.” The rebrand reflects the social network’s pivot into the metaverse, a shared internet space mediated by AR and VR tech.

Now, everyone is getting in on the act.

Here are metaverse efforts announcements…

… since Facebook went Meta:

  • Microsoft has an enterprise metaverse (yay! Microsoft Excel with avatars)
  • Nike is launching virtual footwear and apparel so people can look good in the metaverse
  • Dropbox is positioning itself as content storage for the metaverse
  • Autodesk has software used by engineers and architects to design buildings (and, now, maybe virtual worlds)
  • Unity and Epic Games are both positioning themselves as metaverse world builders

The metaverse hype is reaching similar levels as mobile in the early 2010s or social media in the mid-2000s

Not everyone is a fan

One company with actual metaverse bonafides hates the hype: Niantic, which created a massively popular augmented reality game called… “Pokemon Go.”

Tech writer Casey Newton writes that Niantic is the “dark horse in the metaverse wars” but notes that its CEO John Hanke thinks the virtual-first metaverse vision is “dystopian.”

“[Niantic wants people] to stand up, walk outside, and connect with people and the world around us,” says Hanke. To help build out this real-world version of the metaverse, Niantic just released developer tools.

Here’s hoping no one builds AR spreadsheet tools for nature walks.

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